Public employee unions elsewhere in [California] are currently losing similar battles [against public employee pension reform] against a state employee pension reform bill signed into law last August. And the unions have a surprisingly tough foe in Governor Jerry Brown, who is now going to the mat against the unions on this issue.
It’s a striking sign of the times: in a Democratic trifecta state where Dems control the governorship and both houses of the state legislature, the governor is facing down the same unions that conjured up millions of dollars and thousands of supporters to back him. The irony is rich; during Governor Brown’s first two term administration between 1975 and 1983 he helped create the modern California system of powerful government employee unions.
The budget realities are what they are, and no state can reasonably expect to consent to bankruptcy to lavish benefits on its public employees that it can't afford anymore. Alternatively, it can consent to bankruptcy, and the unions take a haircut anyway.
The politics have come full circle: Democrats bought off the unions (indeed, they created the public employee unions as its wholly-owned subsidiary), who watched passively as the Democrats replaced California's white middle class with a teeming hoard of third-world, Dem-voting peasants. Now that they are irrelevant, the unions are being purged, a relic of a time when the state actually generated the revenue from which the unions could be paid.
It's a sad end to the state that gave us Ronald Reagan.